Kevin Windham 14–the oldest guy to win a race in “modern days”…what else can you say? This guy rides a clean race, and is super consistent–although occasionally he has flashes of blazing speed, for the most part, Kevin is the leader of the non-podium pack. Kevin gives the best interviews, and just seems to be an all-around great guy.
We root for K-Dub over anybody else–even Reed or Bubba! We were so cheering him on in the 2011 Las Vegas supercross race when he was actually gaining ground on Stewart! (That is almost unheard of!) I cannot say enough about how disheartened we were when Stewart (yet again) crashed and his bike took out Windham. Kevin was going so fast, he actually had a chance at passing Stewart, who lost control in the whoops. Bubba’s bike bounced sideways and upside down right in front of Windham, which caused him to go over the bars. Unfortunately, the Ryans (Villipoto and Dungey) were far enough behind the leaders to avoid Stewart’s bike and pass by cleanly.
Chad Reed 22–You just gotta love Chad! Last year he was out due to illness, so he didn’t get a factory ride. After a lot of soul searching with his wife, Ellie, Chad came back with his own race team, TwoTwo Motorsports! Just because of his determination, I bought a TwoTwo jersey.
So Chad is racing a stock Honda, with all of Pro Circuit’s magic on it, of course. That means it’s a bike that anybody can buy and build… and he starts the season out winning. Unfortunately, Chad’s bike pick was part of his doom…Honda’s were plagued with DNF’s in the 2011 Motocross season (effecting Windham early in the season, as well as Barcia exactly one lap earlier than Reed in Southwick).
We root for Chad over Bubba because Chad has such immense heart, and we wanted him to win another championship before retiring. My wife enjoys their tweets, and I love his inspirational and entrepreneurial spirit. We are praying he get’s his mojo back after that horrid Millville 2011 superman impersonation. (I have watched that footage dozens of times, and can’t see what caused his bike to swap out like that.)
James “Bubba” Stewart 7–What can I say? He’s the fastest guy on the planet… unfortunately, he rides so “close to the edge” that he regularly goes over that edge. And sometimes, he takes other riders out in the process. (Usually when James takes other riders out, he’s not in control of the bike!) James sent his bike careening into Reed (who was leading) in Dallas 2011.
We know that “Bubba’s World” is edited for TV, but they portray James as a hard working, likable guy with good morals. For that, we like James.
Ryan Dungey 1 (2011)–Ryan looks like such a nice guy on TV…the kind of guy you want to be friends with. We were pulling for Dungey in 2011 mx because we didn’t want it looming over his head that he only won because everyone else was injured. If his Suzuki hadn’t died and caused a DNF while he was leading the race at Freestone 2011, his consistency would have him the points leader. You’ve got to admire Reed, who gave “this one to Dungey” in his podium speech. What’s with all the bike failures, anyway?!?!
Speaking of bikes, the rumor mill has Dungey talking to Roger DeCoster, who’s now at KTM. We hope he makes the move. My first “real” motorcycle was a KTM, and I’d love nothing more than to see one up on the podium regularly.
Ryan Villipoto 2–Last year, I thought Villipoto was the only guy who could give Stewart a run for his money. Clearly, he will have a long and successful career…which is why we didn’t mind rooting for Dungey over him. I think to get better sponsorships, Villipoto needs to get a little more likable on camera. He’s almost always got a bored look on his face, like he tolerates the interviews. That doesn’t win many fans.
Trey Canard 41–What’s not to like??? Trey is fast, very likable, and not ashamed of his Christian faith. Trey, we are praying you heal strong and fast!